During the Coffee County Board of Education meeting held Thursday, Sept. 2, board members heard a request from several former New Brockton football players to name the football field after a legendary coach.
Matt Rodgers, current president of Enterprise State Community College and a 1990 graduate of New Brockton High School, spoke on behalf of the group in attendance for the meeting. He said it is an exciting time for New Brockton Schools seeing the growth, but last Thursday night, he said he was there to talk about Coach Leavy Boutwell.
Boutwell became the head football coach at New Brockton in 1979, and his first team went 9-1 on the season. Over the next 11 seasons, his teams went 94-27.
Rodgers said he had an opportunity to be a part of Boutwell’s program at New Brockton, starting first as a team manager and working his way up to playing quarterback for the team.
“Coach Boutwell made a profound impact on me. I knew what I wanted to do when I left high school,” Rodgers said. “There is no doubt that playing for Coach Boutwell led me in my career.”
Rodgers would become a teacher and coach first, and later an administrator. Now, he is president of ESCC.
He said Coach Boutwell was a tough, hard-nosed coach, but he cared about his players.
“We learned lessons about hard work, perseverance, and discipline,” Rodgers said. “Coach Boutwell was an inspirational leader that show us hard work does pay off.”
Rodgers also noted that Boutwell had been inducted as a member of the Wiregrass Hall of Fame.
On behalf of the group in attendance, Rodgers asked the board to consider naming the field at Gamecock Stadium the Leavy Boutwell Field.
Board chairman Brian McLeod thanked those in attendance for coming, and he said the board would take the request into consideration.